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2018 Testers’ Choice: Matteo Campbell’s picks

Testing skis for the Backcountry Magazine Gear Guide can be a grueling endeavor—with hours upon hours of hot powder laps, edge-to-edge action on groomers, the occasional crud-busting run, and of course, flip cup practice—and our testers for the 2018 Gear Guide found it all at Powder Mountain, Utah. Skis, boots and bindings are all put through the ringer to find the standouts, with each ski tested eight times, three for boots and bindings. To get a sense of who’s putting in the work, we introduce Testers’ Choice profiles and picks, so you can be sure you’re getting the info right from the source. 

Want to see in-depth tester feedback on these products? Subscribe now to get the 2018 Gear Guide, packed with reviews of all the Editors’ Choice winners, plus more than 200 other must-have skis, splitboards, boots, bindings, apparel and accessories.

[Photo] Matt Kiedaisch

AGE 43
5 feet 11 INCHES, 155 lbs.

Cambridge, vt.

CURRENT SETUP
Fischer Ranger 98 skis, Tecnica Cochise 130 boots, Marker Kingpin 13 bindings

GEAR PREFERENCE
“I’m typically looking to get up to get down—I don’t mind the extra suffering on the way up at all. Usually i’m not out for a long enough trek that the weight is an issue, and I kinda like the added workout.”

Salomon QST 106

$850 – salomon.com | SIZES (cm): 167, 174, 181, 188 | DIMENSIONS (mm): 140/106/126 | WEIGHT/PAIR: 8.4 lbs. (181) | TESTED LENGTH: 188

Get on the front of your boots as much as possible and these won't wash out. The vertical sidewalls transfer direct power and edge grip on firm snow while the rockered tip and tail melt the crud and surf the pow. —Teo


Dynastar Legend X 106

$850 dynastar.comSIZES (cm): 170, 177, 182, 189 | DIMENSIONS (mm): 133/108/123 | WEIGHT/PAIR: 7.6 lbs. (182) | TESTED LENGTH: 182

Biggest surprise of the test—super turny, super playful. Any speed, medium-to-large turns, and this ski shines. Turns like the Fischer Ranger 98, but has enough platform underfoot to really devour crud and pow. —Teo


Blizzard Rustler 11

$840  blizzardsportusa.com | SIZES (cm): 164, 172, 180, 188, 192 | DIMENSIONS (mm): 142/114/132 | WEIGHT/PAIR: 8.6 lbs. (180) | TESTED LENGTH: 188

So much edge hold in everything but the hardest snow. Slight chatter and lack of tip engagement on the hard snow, a sacrifice i'll happily take for all the other attributes. —Teo



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